At the Monday, August 27 City Council meeting, the Salem City Council will hold a First Reading on an ordinance that would reduce the use of single-use plastic bags in Salem. If Council advances the ordinance, a public hearing will be scheduled on September 10.
What is being proposed?
Retailers would be prohibited from providing plastic bags at checkout. Retailers would be required to charge at least five cents per recyclable paper bag.
Retailers would not be required to charge this fee if the customer is low-income and receives government assistance in the form of WIC, or receives benefits as part of the SNAP program, such as Oregon Trail cards.
Retailers will be encouraged to promote the use of recyclable and reusable bags. The new rule would not affect:
- Packaged bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy, or small hardware items;
- Packaging that wraps flowers, potted plants, or other items where dampness is a problem;
- Pharmacy prescription bags;
- Laundry dry-cleaning bags, or bags sold in packages containing multiple bags that is intended to be used for home food storage, garbage waste, pet waste, or yard waste; and
- Single-use bags for prepared take-out foods, produce, and meats.
An ordinance to prohibit single-use plastic bags will be introduced at the August 27 City Council meeting.
If City Council advances the ordinance, a public hearing will be held on September 10, and a final vote would be scheduled for a later date.
If approved, a phased implementation would be proposed with larger retailers complying by April 1, 2019 and all other retail establishments by September 1, 2019.
Background and purpose
At the May 18, 2018 City Council meeting, staff was directed to research and prepare an ordinance to prohibit single-use plastic bags for carryout purchases.
- Eight cities in Oregon already have similar ordinances in place:
- Ashland (since 2014)
- Corvallis (since 2013)
- Eugene (since 2013)
- Forest Grove (since 2016)
- Hood River (since 2017)
- Manzanita (since 2017)
- McMinnville (since 2017)
- Portland (since 2011)
The goal of the rule is to protect the environment, animal and human health, and to reduce litter.
- Read the staff report and learn more
City Council meetings are open to the public and begin at 6 p.m. The meeting will also be streamed live at this link or cable channel 21.